For starters, I have to thank and apologize to my dear sister in Christ, Ally. Thank you for allowing me to write about what Jesus is teaching me through my marriage relationship, and sorry that I am one of the few women that feels very indifferent about Valentine’s Day! I pretty much hate it in fact. Thankful that we can still be unified in Christ without being unified on our feelings of that day :)
Ally asked if I would share with y’all what a Godly, Biblical love looks like in marriage. I laughed. As much as I would love to share with you that I’ve been a superstar Biblical wife and give you 10 ways to make your marriage amazing, I can’t. I’d be lying. And I’d be filling your head with methods that just might not work. Because the Lord might be writing His story for you different than His story for me. But I can share what He’s taught me through a lot of ups and downs. A LOT.
Without really knowing it, I came into marriage full of expectations. And I quickly found out how these expectations were far from being fulfilled. Can you relate? We definitely did not ride into the sunset on our wedding day to live “happily ever after”. Instead, we rode into a journey filled with fighting, despair, betrayal, loneliness, tears, and disappointment. Now, it hasn’t all been bad. It’s also been filled with grace, love, forgiveness, laughter, joy, and redemption. But the tenderness and sweetness in marriage did not come on my timeframe. In my ways.
I wouldn’t have ever said this at the time, but soon after getting married, I started to see Jesus as not being trustworthy. Afterall, He didn’t give me the life I thought He should have. He didn’t give me the husband that was crazy passionate like I thought He would. He didn’t give me the fame and glory of a career like I had dreamed He would. I wasn’t satisfied in Him. And in my words and in my actions, I started to complain. My grumbling revealed a belief that had formed in my heart: Jesus was not enough to me. He was a condolence prize to my fallen dreams and expectations.
Have you too experienced the letdown of fallen hopes and expectations? How did you respond? Where did you run?
For me, this journey has revealed one of the craziest and most scandalous aspects of Jesus’ character: He does not walk away. He does not give up. And He did not allow my husband to give up on us either. Jesus and my husband have spent many patient years walking with me through rebellion, unfaithfulness, despair, anger, hopelessness, folly, and depression. And they still are. Getting to see that I’m still loved and pursued in spite of of it all. In my worst and darkest days.
Have you felt that truth of Jesus’ love sink into the deepest parts of your heart? How has He pursued you through your sin, folly, and disbelief of His goodness?
My marriage is used daily to show me Jesus and my utter need for Him. Because of the Fall, my flesh wants my husband to make me whole. But it isn’t his job to justify me and cleanse me and qualify me. That’s probably why he's not very good at it. It’s not even his job to love and forgive and pursue me perfectly. That’s a job for Jesus. I won’t ever find my fullest satisfaction in human relationships. Even within my marriage. I wasn’t created to find it there. And though I know that, if we’re being honest, I often just. don't. care. Sometimes, I just want my husband to make my life complete.
Who or what are you tempted to put your hope in to find the fullness of life apart from Jesus?
I really just want it both ways: fullness in Jesus and fullness in marriage. And in His goodness, Jesus patiently pursues me through the letdown that my marriage won’t fully satisfy my heart. Craziness. ‘Cause after He puts up with my grumbling guess where He takes me? To the Cross. My beautiful Jesus satisfies in ways nothing on this earth can. AND, in the safety of His love, He frees me up to enjoy my husband in ways that I cannot when I demand from him. I can serve him and love him and laugh with him and enjoy the gift he is.
Jesus said “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly.” (John 10:10 ESV) The word “abundantly” means over and above, more than is necessary. Fullness. Sisters, it’s in Jesus we find fullness. NOT in marriage. Do you believe that? I pray that we grow in trusting that in Jesus, ALONE, our hope is found. I pray we see the lie that no relationship can bring abundant life like our relationship with Jesus. I pray that the battlecry in each of our hearts when tempted to believe the lie is this:
My hope is built on nothing less
than Jesus' blood and righteousness.
I dare not trust the sweetest frame,
but wholly lean on Jesus' name.
On Christ the solid rock I stand,
all other ground is sinking sand;
all other ground is sinking sand!
Missi has been married to her husband for almost 14 years, and they have two children. They have lived in the Seattle area for over 5 years and attend Mars Hill Bellevue. She serves as the Women's Midweek Study lead and in the Redemption Group ministry. She loves having a front row seat watching Jesus move and redeem His daughters. Some of her favorite things on earth are spending time with her family and friends, finding a great deal, delicious drinks, laughter, good food, the Oregon Ducks, and embarrassing her kids (preferred method these days: loud singing and bad dancing).
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